Feeds

Computer glitch nixes death row appeal in Texas

Judge holds firm on deadlines

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

A Texas inmate was sent to his death after a computer glitch held up his appeal filing, and a presiding judge refused to extend the deadline.

Earlier that day the US Supreme Court said it would consider a case from Kentucky, in which lawyers were arguing that the lethal injection is unconstitutional.

The Houston Chronicle reports that judges were expecting to receive an appeal, triggered by the Supreme Court's ruling. Judge Cathy Cochran told the paper that several of her colleagues were prepared to stay in their offices waiting for Michael Richard's lawyers to file his paperwork.

"A number of judges stayed very late that evening, waiting for a filing from the defence attorney," she said.

Judge Paul Womack was one of those who stayed in the office, waiting for the appeal. "All I can tell you is that night I stayed at the court until seven o'clock in case some late filing came in," he said. "I was under the impression we might get something... It was reasonable to expect an effort would be made with some haste in light of the Supreme Court [action]."

But Presiding Judge Sharon Keller refused to allow the appeal to be filed after 5pm, and did not consult with her colleagues on her decision. She said: "I think the question ought to be why didn't they file something on time? They had all day." The court does not accept emailed appeals.

Lawyers for 49-year-old Richards said a computer problem meant they couldn't print their filing in time to get it to the court by 5pm. They added that if the court would have accepted their submission by email, they still would have made the deadline, and that they only needed an extra 20 minutes.

Richards was executed later that day for the murder in 1986 of Marguerite Lucille Dixon, a 53-year-old nurse and mother of seven.

Civil rights campaigners said they were considering filing an official complaint about the debacle. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
The 'fun-nification' of computer education – good idea?
Compulsory code schools, luvvies love it, but what about Maths and Physics?
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Yes, yes, Steve Jobs. Look what I'VE done for you lately – Tim Cook
New iPhone biz baron points to Apple's (his) greatest successes
Lords take revenge on REVENGE PORN publishers
Jilted Johns and Jennies with busy fingers face two years inside
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
Edward who? GCHQ boss dodges Snowden topic during last speech
UK spies would rather 'walk' than do 'mass surveillance'
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.